Warning of quarry’s dangers

Warning of quarry’s dangers A memorial picnic is planned for Sunday. Robin Schell’s story of how her son died has already reached hundreds of people across the country in public service announcements. She tells of her broken heart in a music video and public service announcement.Yet, as the hot summer days arrive, Schell feels moved to warn more young people to stay out of the Funkhouser Quarry in Peach Bottom Township where her son died four years ago this weekend.In July, Schell will hand out fliers and posters at the carnival in Delta, attempting to reach as many young people as she can who might be tempted to jump off the breath-taking cliffs and swim in the icy, blue waters of the former slate quarry.She’s hoping that by being in Delta she will reach some of the Maryland folks who tend to swim at the quarry.Nineteen-year-old Jeremy Schell drowned while swimming illegally in the abandoned quarry Independence Day weekend in July 2000. He was the fourth person to die there since 1993.He drowned while attempting to swim across the quarry. His body was found 38 feet under the water’s surface.”This time of year is really hard for me,” his mother said this week.Schell, a Yoe resident, continues to volunteer as a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration program, Stay Out, Stay Alive. She has taped a public service announcement and a music video, both of which are being shown in schools around the country.Police continue to give citations to anyone trespassing on the 155-acre property.The quarry, which is 200 years old, has not been used since the 1960s. “No Trespassing” signs are posted around the quarry, but people have ignored signs, cement blockades and $300 parking fines along Atom Road near the quarry.Schell is holding a memory picnic for her son on July 4 and hopes all of his friends and relatives will attend.”It seems to help when you’re surrounded by his friends and family,” said Schell, 42.Schell hopes her message is getting out to people, but as the weather gets warm she worries.And she’ll try to convince anyone she can to stay away by telling them her story.”I think putting a face to it, showing them that it was someone real who lost their life there, helps,” she said.By Shawn Ledington at 771-2048 or sledington@ydr.com. IF YOU GOThe memory picnic for Jeremy Schell is scheduled for 11 a.m. on July 4 at Williams Grove Amusement Park near Dillsburg. For details, call Robin Schell at 244-6080.

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